I rushed to redeem my AAdvantage miles before their devaluation. At a bargain of 55,000 miles, a one-way Business Class ticket on Cathay Pacific was drastically cheaper than using Asia Miles. Sadly, the price now is 72,500 miles unless I fly 1-stop on American, which would still cost 65,000 miles.
Terminal 3 is the old "new" terminal, and its once serene corridors have now been filled with winter vacationers flying Sunwing. Their lines snaked around next to the fairly empty Cathay premium check-in counters.
Sensing so many people trying to escape the winter, I went for the security line early anticipating a long line-up. It took 30 minutes. Premium passengers don't get special priority lanes but the line did keep moving bit by bit.
I regretted not buying ice wine at the LCBO store in the city in the days before my departure. The airport's prices were a bit too inflated. I suppose people are starting to find out this is good stuff - it used to be very cheap!
Air-side, the facilities are starting to show their age but things remain functional. Nothing fancy, but they work.
Spotting is quite easy with lots of flat windows and some interesting birds.
Under new management, these devices were installed at every table, which I have never seen set up this way at any other airport.
Looks comfortable to set up a laptop and do some work. They even included electric plugs.
While there were lots of people outside, the crowds were manageable inside and there still were many seats available to sit down and grab a bite. However, the carpets were not clean and needed some vacuuming.
Chinese airlines are starting to take notice on Toronto. It's a long flight from any city so it will be interesting to see if everyone can survive. Besides this China Southern ad, I spotted China Eastern and Hainan parked here today.
With a lounge invitation, I headed upstairs to check out the Plaza Premium lounge, which had a decent selection of food and even fish ball noodles!
I didn't want to spoil a sumptuous meal on board, so I kept the pickings modest and went to the windows to see a cloudy Mississauga behind my plane. The lounge needed vacuuming as well.
Back downstairs, the gate was quite busy with passengers getting ready for boarding. There isn't enough seating space to accomodate these larger jets, so I went straight to my premium boarding line. Notice the empty seats is for the bar next door.
Normally, I wouldn't be in a rush to board, but I don't mind enjoying my seat just a bit longer today.
China Eastern parked to the right of us.
Business Class looked quite full today. I had an older couple behind me heading to Asia and Australia for a long winter vacation. But first, a 15+ hour plane ride to Hong Kong.
Plane spotters can book a room at the Sheraton for a nice view of Terminal 3, but too bad not the busier Terminal 1 where Air Canada calls home.
Soon, we were ready to take off. Goodbye snow!
Lots of snow all over unsustainable sprawl ...
Winter is beautiful to see from the air but awful to endure on the ground.
Assorted nuts were first served and I asked for my favourite drink - Cathay Delight. I can have a dozen of these.
Next was lunch, which was catered from Toronto since trout is not indigeneous to Hong Kong. It was a refreshing and and refreshing. delicious surprise from the typical salmon appetizer.
Satisfied with the fish, I opted for the seafood main with rice. The portion looked small and the presentation didn't look so premium class, but it tasted nice, which I guess is what matters most.
By now, the sun was setting and it would be a long night across the North Pole.
I couldn't eat any more and let the dessert tray pass, but went for some fruits instead.
Our flight path is to head north, slightly east, and cross the pole and enter Asia through Russia.
I took some rest and woke up with the sun out overflying Russia. The landscape was barren once again. It's not any easier living in these arctic stretches.
Another full meal was served over China. I suppose this is dinner. I opted for the Indian rice, which was a bit spicy and I had not expected it on this route's menu.
They really need to work on how meals are presented. These look like Economy dishes!
Soon after, the sun began to set again. This long flight would see 2 sunsets.
15.5 hours later, we reached Hong Kong. I was a bit exhausted even though the Business Class seat was spacious and comfortable. I wonder how everyone else fared out back?
Business Class makes such a long flight survivable. The hardware was great and we were well-fed. However, the crew was not as attentive as my other flights. They forgot drink orders but luckily I had a bottle at my seat to keep me hydrated throughout the journey. This is not the best that Cathay Pacific is known for.